A secret code letter sent in 1812 by Napoleon Bonaparte boasting that his French forces would blow up Moscow’s Kremlin has sold at auction for ten times its estimated presale price.
A Paris museum – the Museum of Letters and Manuscripts – was finalising its purchase of the October 20, 1812, document for €187,500, including fees.
That is far above the pre-sale estimate of €15,000.
Auctioneers at Fontainebleau Auction House south of Paris say the letter sold today is unique.
It was written in a numeric code used by the French ruler to throw off would-be interceptors.
Its content bared the strains on Napoleon of his calamitous Russian invasion.
One line said: “At three o’clock in the morning, on the 22nd I am going to blow up the Kremlin.”